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Across US-50 - Southern Illinois

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--- Quote from: 3467 on June 23, 2021, 11:46:20 AM ---I like the term Frankenstein for that segment.
It looks like and it's just the maps in the MYP  that the bypass will begin at 4. Think they will remember 50 on to 4 to 64?
I count about 21 miles from Carlyle to the 4 lane before 57 and then about 10 to Xenia.
I also wonder if it's that development after Olney that Ed observed that scuttled the 4 lane?

--- End quote ---

I suspect the "study" of a 4 lane from Olney (WalMart) to Lawrenceville was to politically placate the locals involved in the US 50 Coalition.

There have been several studies to restart the 4 lane project on US 50 in SE Illinois since the late 1970's. but have not gone anywhere.

The studies either disappeared, never finished or found no impact. I remember one that actually finished back in the late 1980's but couldn't get funding from IDOT or from the Fed's.

Another one was triggered by the RCDC for a new proposed business/logistics park east of Olney, but fell apart when CSX wanted top dollar to put a rail siding in and Olney didn't want to put a new water main in until they had a tenant confirmed.

They are trying.

I used 50 from Salem to Carlyle on my way home Friday. 

Your analysis is spot-on.  The section between Sandoval and Carlyle is narrow, with no shoulders.  Thanks to the several inches of rain on Friday many ditches were full, almost up to the road. 

The Ghostbuster:
Should US 50 have been four lanes across Southern Illinois? Of course, that is assuming there would be sufficient funding for the design and construction of a four-lane US 50.


--- Quote from: The Ghostbuster on July 19, 2021, 01:45:49 PM ---Should US 50 have been four lanes across Southern Illinois? Of course, that is assuming there would be sufficient funding for the design and construction of a four-lane US 50.

--- End quote ---

At first this part of US-50 was to be the future route of what is today I-64.  The Vincennes Bypass with US-50/US-41 and US-150 was built with this future in mind in 1961-1964. The proposed 4 lane route was to continue on to Louisville using US-150.

But after the planned I-64 route was moved farther south, Illinois had attempted to upgrade US-50 as part of the funding around the supplemental highway system. Illinois had plans to try and get so many square miles of Illinois within a certain distance of a 4 lane highway to support industry and commerce.

Today US-50 doesn't support the needed AADT in a couple of places which has forestalled any attempts to have it be 4 laned across the state.

Since the work on US-50 as part of the supplementary routes lost funding in 1974 and finally was removed from the plan completely, industry along the route has since either closed or relocated closer to either I-70 or I-57.

Its a catch-22. Many logistics firms or industrial park developers like the easy access to cheaper labor these towns provide, but always have 4 lane access a required checkbox for their consideration to facilitate easy truck access.

This is why the US-50 Coalition formed in Illinois several years ago to attempt to bring a highway that would attract these types of commercial developments.

There are a couple of threads in the Ohio Valley section that describe these attempts over the years in more detail, so i won't repeat them here.

The subject keeps coming up probably because Illinois spent a large amount of dough acquiring ROW and getting the future 4 lane highway planned for from 1956 until finally in 1986, when Gov. James "Big Jim" Thompson had the funding moved from US-50 to extend I-39 to Bloomington as an Interstate to entice Mitsubishi to build their factory in Normal. (now it is a Rivian factory building EV trucks and SUV's).

This is why US-50 across the state in various places has abandoned modern river bridges and sections of pavement for a 4 lane freeway that were never used and lots of wide ROW.


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